It is significant that although Christ clearly taught that He was the unique Son of God, He most frequently referred to Himself as Son of man, earnestly desiring that people understand His true and representative humanity.
The first use of the phrase is in Psalm 8:4: “What is . . . the son of man, that thou visitest him?” Although David may have been thinking of all “sons of Adam” in general, the writer of Hebrews applied the passage specifically to Christ (Hebrews 2:6), “that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9). In order to save lost men, God in Christ had to become man through supernatural incarnation. Then, as perfect, sinless man, He could represent us before God, finally tasting death for every man.
The vital importance of the incarnation is affirmed by John: “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God” (1 John 4:2-3). It is noteworthy that Satan and his evil spirits would recognize Christ as the Son of God (Matthew 4:3; 8:28-29) but never as the Son of man! This reluctance seems also to characterize all the occultic philosophies of the so-called “New Age” movement, as well as all ancient and modern pantheistic religions. They speak glibly of “the Christ” as a spirit which might come on many, but bitterly refuse to acknowledge that the man Jesus was actually the Son of man, God incarnate.
Finally, it is thrilling to realize that, although He only became the Son of man through His incarnation, He will always remain the Son of man! John saw Him in His glory—as we shall see Him in eternity—as “one like unto the Son of man” (Revelation 1:13; 14:14). HMM